- 3 people per team
- 2 computers per team
- C++ AI programming
- Contest details and API released Friday night at the mandatory Kick-off Session
- Competition is Sunday morning. If you need to leave early, you can still compete, but be sure to let us know!
- Lots of food and soda provided by us to keep you going. But NO eating in the labs.
Teams of three members each. All three players must be both registered Conference attendees and current students at an educational institution.
The game administrators will make final determination on eligibility.
We assume that all contestants know and are comfortable using C++. It will also be useful to have at least one team member familiar with the Standard Template Library(STL). You'll only need to know how to use STL vectors (which are easy), but knowing about some of the other tools will make coding a lot faster.
No knowledge of graphics or network programming is required. The client/server engine contains no user serviceable parts.
Using the API and framework we provide, you will implement a 'Player' class that will compete with another Player in a virtual arena. The API will provide methods for examining the game environment and sending commands to the server. One or two complete sample clients will be provided.
You may find some of the past MechMania websites helpful to get an idea of what the contest will be like.
Details of the game and the API will be released to all teams at the kick-off session, the evening of Friday Oct 7th. It's all hush-hush till then.
Beginning Saturday (and continuing into Sunday) you will have roughly 18 hours of lab time to use as you see fit.
Sunday morning, the sixteen teams will compete in a double-elimination tournament until only one is left standing. The top teams will receive prizes and resume bragging rights.
Your team will be allocated two PCs running Fedora Core 4. The development environment will be Linux, but actual code is platform independent: you don't need to be a Unix guru. We'll provide the standard Unix emacs/vi/make environment, plus Eclipse for those of you who are more comfortable in a Visual Studio style IDE.
You may bring any textual references you like - C++ books, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War", whatever. Laptops may be used for reading the electronic documentation; however, code on them at your own risk. We will not help you if your code runs on your machines but not ours.
No outside code can be brought in (on electronic media.) However, you are allowed to bring in non-code files via electronic media (or over the network.) Examples include rc files, build scripts, notes, and basically anything else that doesn't contain actual code. Furthermore, we will generally allow the use of outside libraries, assuming you can get them to work on our machines. There's obviously some room for interpretation here, but if in doubt use this rule of thumb: Don't do anything that would entitle you to the big fuzzy bat to your head.
We have a few new features this year: team flags, team logos, and team colors. In competition, your Player will not simply be either "the red team" or "the blue team" - it will wear your colors and fly your flag. This means a little extra burden on contestants, as you'll have to pick colors when you register, and you'll have to make a logo and flag. (If you don't have time to make a logo or flag, we'll provide you with basic ones. But you probably won't like them.)
You're welcome to make up your graphics before the competition. You may email files to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you may bring them yourselves, either via the Web or on physical media. The contest machines will have The GIMP available, so you can produce graphics during the contest, if you feel that's the best use of your time.
This year's contest will have a medieval theme. We'll be delighted if your graphics match the contest theme, but don't feel obligated. We'll only disallow logos or flags if they're obviously offensive or inappropriate.
Your team logo, which will be used to identify you at the beginnings of matches, should be a 512x128 PNG image. The display engine respects the alpha channel - feel free to use transparency and/or translucency if you'd rather your logo not be a perfect rectangle.
Your team flag should be a 128x128 PNG image. Again, the alpha channel is fully supported - go ahead and make your flag whatever shape you like. Just note that the flag will be attached to a flagpole on the LEFT side, so make sure you take into account this issue here:
You don't want your team represented by a graphical glitch, do you? I thought not.
One last note regarding flags: The contest is not Capture The Flag. We are not that obvious.
Finally, when you register, you'll need to pick three team color choices, in order of preference. From these, we'll assign you a primary and a secondary color. While we'll try to give each team their top choices, some conflicts are unfortunately unavoidable. Your options are, of course, the 16 classic Web colors:
MechMania XI's official sponsor is Amazon.
If you have any other questions, just email the staff at email@example.com.